Nicholas Roerich Charcoal Sketch, ca. 1917
This is a Roerich print. Nicholas Roerich, he's a Russian artist, and philosopher and archaeologist and he traveled around the world. And we knew someone who studied with Nicholas Roerich, and then we studied with this person. So we kind of had a tie with Roerich. And when we had an opportunity in 1977 to purchase a piece because we heard this was part of an estate sale and this was in our price range at that time.
And what can you tell me about this specific piece?
This piece is a sketch that was done in 1917 and the final painting was called The Call. And so I have a copy of the actual picture and it looks a little bit different than this, but it's very similar. And of course it's in color.
What were you hoping to learn from us today?
Well, I'll tell you what, I took it off the wall last night and it totally... the frame fell apart and everything, and I was, like, oh, my gosh. What I brought it here for was to find out how to preserve it.
Okay, well, why don't we start with the condition, which is why you brought it in. So as you can see here along the top edge, it's particularly apparent, the work originally is done on this toned paper, and then it's glued down at some point onto this paper board, which is acidic. So we've got some discoloration from that. And if you look all the way over here you can see it's pretty significant discoloration on this edge from what the paper started to what it is now. Also we've got some problems with these discolored spots up here and a loss right here, a small one. And all of these things certainly can be reduced in significance and can be improved. At the time, this would have been considered a perfectly fine way to take care of the drawing, but to be honest, just the simple chemistry today is so much better. It's also framed right up against the glass, which isn't something we want. It is an old frame and something you could keep together, but I think that you'd want to have that conserved. It would significantly improve the look of the piece. In terms of value right now at auction, I would place the number conservatively at $15,000 to $25,000.
So how much did you say you paid for it?
I think between $250 and $300. I think it was closer to $250. It was a lot of money for us at that time. It's mind boggling. It's a wonderful piece, we love it and I appreciate you giving me this information. Whoa!
(laughing) Holy moly!
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